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miércoles, 28 de septiembre de 2016

An earthquake, a "habitable" planet and the longest glass-bottomed bridge... What's more?!


On 24th August 2016, Italy suffered one of the biggest natural disasters of its history. Since L’Aquila earthquake in 2009 when 308 people were killed, Italy hadn’t suffered a calamity like this one: Nearly three hundred people got killed and more than four hundred people wounded. However, could this disaster have been less damaging? 

After Aquila’s disaster, in Italy new rules concerning building construction were established in order to gave money so as to build these new buildings in order to resist natural disasters, like this earthquake. So Europe gave money in order to build this new buildings. Nevertheless, this money never arrived, and in 2015 a study revealed that only a 14% of the buildings of the most vulnerable part of the country were conditioned by the Standards of Seismic Safety. Moreover, the villages and cities that were completely destroyed with the last earthquake, continue in the same way: absolutely destroyed. It’s for these reasons that the 6.2-magnitude quake that suffered the centre of Italy, ruining Amatrice, Accumoli and Pescara del Tronto; has been so damaging.

But nevertheless in a paradoxical way, science has made a lot of efforts trying to find a “habitable” planet, similar to the Earth where we would be able to live in some million years, and China making the longest glass-bottomed bridge, without thinking in their own planet problems. With all that I’m not saying that is bad to invest in astronomy or in making bridges of glass. However I reckon that there are more important problems like preventing an earthquake, helping the Syrian refugees, solving world famine problem…

domingo, 4 de septiembre de 2016

English is evolving: New words

English, the second most spoken language in the world, is for sure one of the languages that is evolving more and more in the recent years. Neither all the words evolve in the same way, nor at the same time, but they are constantly changing. Therefore, how and why do they change?

Languages usually change due to their speakers, but especially because of young people, who introduce a new range of vocabulary when they are speaking among them. It’s a fact that they are a very important tool in the development of the language, however not all the words that they “invent” are later accepted in the dictionaries. For instance, acronyms like WTF, LOL I don’t sincerely think that they’re going to be in the dictionaries in a few years’ time.

Another fact to take into account is the period of time that we’re living, for example now with all the social networks that we have, we usually try to make words shorter (not everybody), inciting to create short words. In addition to this, these words and also expressions are usually related with new technology and online games like for instance: good game (gg), to feed the lane or well played (wp).

In Spanish those new words have been adapted by teenagers. One interesting thing that has happened is that in the case of verbs in Spanish is that we’ve added the suffix –ar to all of them like for instance “wasapear” or “tuitear”, making verbs really easy to conjugate. In addition to this, we've also created new words that, depending on the different regions that we live, we use or we don't.


In conclusion, English is a language that changes and will change really fast (like Spanish) due to the amount of speakers that use it. In my view, I see that it is a language that will be spoken by everybody soon. It’s for this reason that I consider that dictionaries will have to admit more new words comparing to the last twenty or fifty years’ time.

domingo, 7 de agosto de 2016

FRENCH STEREOTYPES 

Cyprien's video


Watching Cyprien’s video about the stereotypes of Spain, I‘ve decided to write about the stereotypes of France. I’ve been in France so many times that I could say that I know more about French people than from any other people with a different nationality. It’s for this reason that I’m going to write about their stereotypes from a very close point of view.

In relation with food the first stereotype that I realise when I’m in France is that all mornings, even if it rains, they go to the nearest bakery of their neighbourhood to buy a baguette for their breakfast, wearing a kind of beret and usually smoking. Another funny stereotype that I realise when I’m travelling by car in France is that every midday, especially during the holidays, they all park their cars in a service area to have what they call “le midi” (a very relaxing picnic that all the family use to have). And I think that the best known stereotype of French people related with food is that in all their dinners they must eat cheese with a glass of wine before dessert.

Apart from this type of stereotypes, there some others, for instance those which are related to their personality. Friends of mine say that the typical French man or woman is really arrogant, not very sociable and even apathetic, but it’s only because when they “travel to France” they only visit one place… Paris, and I agree with them in this point, because Parisian people can be arrogant and sometimes a bit self-centred, believing to be the centre of the world. However, in fact, the rest of France is extremely different from them, they are usually quite helpful, polite and quite happy, although I find they are not as open-minded as Spanish people are and they use to say that everything is okay when in fact, it’s not. Moreover, another aspect that I notice is that they use to idolatrise their sport players, even if they finish the second or third position (fact that Spanish people don’t do and I really appreciate it).


In conclusion, I think that I have a very different point of view from most of my friends that think they “have visited France”, but I find quite interesting what other people from other nationalities think about France when I’m in “l’Alliance française”, because they have truly visited France. And I reckon that these are the main stereotypes that I’ve confirmed during my stays in France.

lunes, 18 de julio de 2016

DIABETES


Today I am going to write about Diabetes, but first of all we must know in what it consists. Diabetes is the condition that results from lack of insulin in a person's blood, or when their body has a problem using the insulin it produces (that’s what Wikipedia says). But, how can a diabetic person be cured? Has Diabetes got a cure? Is Diabetes the Biggest Epidemic of the Twenty-first Century?

According to the Diabetes International Federation, based in Belgium, as of 2015, an estimated 415 million people have diabetes worldwide. This represents 8.3% of the adult population, with equal rates in both women and men. And about 18 million people die every year from cardiovascular disease, for which diabetes and hypertension are major predisposing factors. 

This disease can be inherited, but most of the times it is caused by eating fast food. Because of this, Diabetes is usually related with obesity. Overweight usually produces this lack of insulin and this, added to not doing sport increases the possibility of a serious case of Diabetes. 


At my school there were a few students that had a big Diabetes and they must take three times a day insulin (which is too much). However, they handle the disease much better and they don’t have to go to hospital too many times, (only for revisions), because they are now doing a lot of sport and eating healthier. In my opinion, even if recent studies say that they have discovered the cure, I think that we could prevent it, simply eating more healthily. 

sábado, 25 de junio de 2016

BREXIT. A SAD DAY.

Today, 24th June 2016, the UK has decided to leave the European Union. Yesterday, with a 51.9% the Eurosceptics voted not to stay in Europe anymore and with this, the UK would probably become the first country to leave the EU. However, how will this affect us? What advantages and disadvantages are we going to have?

First of all, we have to talk about which countries in the UK are for and against leaving the EU. Scotland and Northern Ireland voted against leaving the EU, while Wales and England voted for it. As a result of this, Scotland and Northern Ireland want to have referendums to decide if they want to leave the UK or remain. In the case of Scotland, for example, they want a referendum to leave the UK and stay in the EU, especially because that was the reason  England used to convince Scottish people to stay in the UK, “If Scotland leaves the UK, they will also leave the EU”. And in the case of Northern Ireland they would want a referendum to belong to the Republic of Ireland, which is in the EU.

Secondly, we have to know the main reasons why they think that it’s better to leave the EU. Leaving the EU, they reckon that they would make stronger trade deals with other nations, they would have more freedom to control their national borders (having fewer problems with immigration) and they also think that they would restore Britain’s special legal system.

Thirdly, how will this affect a European country like Spain? On the one hand, this will have an economic impact: in our commercial trades with England which are really important for our economy, in tourism (English tourists are the ones who visited our country the most last year). And on the other hand, it will affect the Spanish people that are now working or studying in England. Moreover, this will also affect us at school, because until now, English was the official language in Europe, but now, we don’t know if it will continue being it.

Another important problem would be Gibraltar, a little region situated in the South of Spain that belongs to the United Kingdom and that voted with a 94% to stay in the EU. They voted for staying in the EU, because its main economic source is their commercial trades that they do with Europe and England, and now they could even decide to join Spain.


In my case, it will probably affect me directly, because in two years’ time I will have to decide where I’m going to do my Erasmus, and I’ll probably choose Ireland or Scotland rather than England. For me it’s a sad day, because I love England and I would have liked them in the EU, but I respect their decision. Nevertheless, I have travelled to all the UK (except Northern Ireland) and I know that British people are a bit more arrogant than for example Irish or Scottish (don’t misunderstand my words) for example having a different currency from EU or a different manner for driving…, but I would have never expected this. It’s true that there would also be some advantages, such as the fact that England would be cheaper. However, as I said before, today is a sad day.

martes, 7 de junio de 2016

FOXES NEVER QUIT!

Only one month ago, one of the humblest teams in the Premier League, was proclaimed champion. This team, which last season slipped to the bottom of the league table with only 19 points from 29 games, has won one of the most prominent and toughest leagues in Europe. However, did anyone know them before this happened?

In fact, not many people in the world knew the existence of an English team called Leicester, which last season had had so many problems to survive in the English Premier League one more year (I included myself). Nevertheless, at the beginning of the season the commitment they made to do their best has ended in such an incredible achievement. Another important variable has been their players, many of whom played in the second division in other European leagues, or even in the English seventh division!!! before joining this team, as Jamie Vardy). They have given us a lesson of team sport and bravery.

This team has reminded me when our football national team (before winning all that it has won in the latest years). Nobody trusted that we were even going to go through the quarter finals of European Team Cup of 2008, and they won it, and then the World Cup of 2010 and afterwards the European Team Cup of 2012 (and far more to come). 

All in all, now I’m not going to say that I’m an unconditional supporter of Leicester, only for winning the Premier League, because that would be dishonest (and my favourite English team is Liverpool), but apart from that, I think that everyone who likes football now has a small part of the Leicester team in their hearts, as Ranieri said “Why can’t we continue to run, run, run? We are like Forrest Gump!”

viernes, 29 de abril de 2016

A REAL FRIEND

It’s a well-known fact that in your life you will meet a lot of friends. However, not all these friends are going to be part of your life and not all of them will be forever. So, how can find “a real friend”? Do they exist?

In many countries having a good relation with your friends means that you’re a sociable person, and in Spain it also does. Nevertheless, more and more young people reckon that this fact is relates with social networks like Facebook or Twitter. That is to say, they think that having more “followers” on Twitter or more “friends” on Facebook, they’re more sociable and popular. And they’re totally wrong, because the majority of these “friends” don’t even know them.

Other people however, prefer having fewer friends, but with whom they are closer. They usually have a better relation with them and what is more important, they can do many things together: going to the cinema, playing a film… It’s true that if they lost them, because one of them goes abroad or they have an argument, they can end in a bad way, but in my view this is the best type of friendship.


In my case, I don’t reckon I have lots of friends, but I think that I can always trust them, so for me, it’s enough. Moreover, I could say that I have a real friend, because even if we are very different and he isn’t still at the university, we get on really well since nursery school, so I think that is the best way to know if you have a real friend.

SPORTING HEROES SHOULD TRY TO BE GOOD ROLE MODELS. DO YOU AGREE?

There are many people who like sports (mostly men, but also women). And most of these people like watching their favourite sports on TV. It’s for this reason that many sportsmen influence young people, but how much influence have they got? Are they a reference for them?

It’s a well-known fact that teenagers like looking like their sporting heroes: having the same haircut, wearing the same clothes and imitating their movements. Therefore, even if sportsmen don’t intend to be a reference for them, they have a lot of influence on them. Because of this, if a sportsman doesn’t behave as well as he should, he gives a bad image to their fans.  However, we also have to think that they are humans and there are moments in which they can behave badly.

Moreover, people usually watch more team sports on TV than other types of sports, so fellowship is also an important fact that young people see when they are watching their idols. Nevertheless, especially in football, we don’t see this fellowship in the biggest teams.

In conclusion, I personally reckon that they should at least try to behave as well as they can, because they are a reference for them. It’s also true that this is also a lot of pressure for them, because they can be distract and even more if their fans also have a bad behaviour towards them: jeer rat them in matches or throw things to them, if they don’t play well.

domingo, 3 de abril de 2016

GREAT BOOKS AND “TRASH”: 

THE CANON WARS.

We could say that “Canon books” or “Canon authors” are the most important books or authors of the global literature that have become a reference for the current literature and that have inspired writers to make the literature of our days. In spite of this, I think that Canon literature has always been changing, that is to say, current authors haven’t always been inspired by “the Greek Canon”. I think that the society of the epoch has also influenced in this Canon, because if it weren’t like this, all the novels would have the same plot. For instance, it isn’t the same an Ancient Greek book than other from the Middle Age. An ancient Greek book is not the same as another written in the Middle Ages.

Moreover, I also think that this Canon is “fading” as the author says, because we have a very large kind of readings that traditionalists wouldn’t include in this “Canon”. In my opinion, you do your own Canon from the moment you begin to read. It’s obviously true that every young child should read first all these classics to make his own Canon in order to be a good reader. In addition to this, I think that it’s a pity that comic books, magazines or detective books aren’t considered as a “Canon” since I really enjoy them. Fromm y point of view, The books that traditionalists consider as “trash” have also inspired good novels or films, which could be considered as a “a Canon or a a Classic”, like for example The Adventure of Tintin (Les Aventures de Tintin) or in Spanish “Mortadelo and Filemón”, which I reckon they should be part of these classics is a few years’ time. But, the best example we have got in Spanish literature is “El Quijote”, which is obviously considered a canon, but whose origins are based on chivalry book. These books were considered as “trash” literature at that time.


All in all, I think that “my Canon” is not the same as that of others. And you, what is your “Canon”?

viernes, 1 de abril de 2016

Example of a letter of application.

Young people of 18+ to become activity instructor with an International summer school. Experience is not important, as training will be given. Love of sport, energy, enthusiasm and an ability to relate to young people is essential.


     Dear Sir/Madam.

     Following the recent advertisement in your website, I would like to apply for the position as an activity instructor.

     At present I am studying English philology at the University of Granada (Spain). One of the main reasons I am applying for this job is that I would like to improve my English and spend some time using it in in your International summer school. As well as English I am also learning French, so, if it is required, I could also help.

     I have no much experience in these kinds of job, nevertheless I love sports. I swim twice a week, I play tennis on the weekend and during the summer I do a lot of trekking. In addition, I have enthusiasm and ability to relate to young people, because I look after my parents aren’t at home.

     I would be grateful if you could send me further details of the job. I enclose my CV. I can be contacted … at any time. Thank you for considering my application and I look forward to hearing from you in the near future. After the end of the university year I will be available if I am required to come for an interview.
Yours faithfully














Alberto Romero.

domingo, 27 de marzo de 2016

THE KIMONO 
by Herbert Ernest Bates

The Kimono tells us the story about a man called Arthur Lawson, who was going to an interview in order to get a job. When he finished it, he thought that he had got the job, so he decided to search for a hotel to rest. However, he couldn’t find it, so he went to a sweet shop to get some ice to stand the heat.

There, he met Blanche, a woman wearing a sensual kimono, who was the shop assistant of the shop. As it was late and he hadn’t found the hotel, Blanche let him sleep in the shop, because they were renting some rooms. They started going out, even though Arthur was married, and he fell in love with her. After a long time, Arthur left his wife and his job to work in the shop with her.

One day, Arthur discovered that Blanche made love with a lot of men and that she wasn’t in love with him. Nevertheless, he was so much in love with her (even blind of love) and the shop was doing well that it didn’t bothered him. But then, Blanche’s father was released from prison and began to steal money from the shop and from Arthur.


In the end, he wondered what would have happened if he hadn’t seen Blanche in that sensual kimono and if he still were married to his former wife.

martes, 16 de febrero de 2016

Pau Gasol in the All-Star 2016 game!
This weekend in Toronto (Canada) will take place one of the biggest basketball events in the world will take place, that is, the NBA All-Star Game 2016. What is the All-Star? The All Star is a basketball exhibition game hosted annually by the NBA, matching the league's star players from the Eastern Conference against their counterparts from the Western Conference. Each conference team consists of 12 players, making it 24 in total. There will be a lot of excellent players playing it, like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony (Eastern Conference) and Kobe Bryant or Kevin Duran (Western Conference). But what has it been the most awesome thing , it’s that Pau Gasol is going to play!


Due to Jimmy Butler's knee injury, Pau Gasol, who was going to miss making the All-Star team by just 360 votes, has entered in it in the end. He has to be really proud of it, because for the 35-year-center it will be the sixth appearance in the All-Star. Moreover, he is going to be the only white-coloured player and the only foreigner in the game.

It’s true that there are other Spanish players that have played in the All-Star, like Jorge Garbajosa, Juan Carlos Navarro, Rudy Fernández, Marc Gasol and Ricky Rubio, but Pau Gasol is the only one who is going to play 6 times this event. I hope that Marc Gasol gets over his injury soon and Spain can have a good participation in the 2016 Summer Olympics Games of Río.

All in all, I think that Spain has to be proud of having such good sport players like Gasol, Nadal, Contador, Alonso, Casillas… I reckon that if we did the same in everything Spain would be a better country. It’s for this reason that I think that we should also improve in other themes, in other areas such as education, which we are not so good at

lunes, 8 de febrero de 2016

"2 CELLOS"

CLASSICAL MUSIC vs MODERN MUSIC

“2 CELLOS” is the name of this fantastic cello duo, consisting of the Slovenian-Croatian Luka Šulić and Stjepan Hauser. Apart from being two excellent cellists, they are known for doing incredible versions of well-known pop and rock songs with their two classical cellos. In 2011, they signed a contract with Sony Masterworks and since then they have already done three amazing albums. What kind of music do you like listening to? Is listening to classical music old-fashioned?

It’s a well-known fact that we have nowadays a lot kinds of music Rock, Punk, Pop music, Jazz… that we can listen to. It’s not like a few decades ago that we only had the opportunity to listen to one or two kinds of music. Nowadays thanks to platforms like Youtube or Spotify, we can have all the songs that you can imagine in your mobile phones or laptops without any problems.

Nevertheless, especially teenagers listen to other types of music like Reggaeton, Techno… that I’m not saying that they can’t listen to them, but that have lost a lot of the musical values that music used to have. It’s for this reason that I reckon that some genres of music like Classical, Rock music or Pop music have lost their places in favour of this kind of music. In spite of this, it’s true that musical tastes change and I think that it’s good, but there are some songs and values that we shouldn’t lose.

All in all, I reckon that groups like 2 Cellos are good to listen to at least once in your life because they mix the traditional values with the new ones, which is twice better. Moreover, not all the modern music is like that since there are artists such as Adele, Avicii, Maroon 5, Sam Smith, Stromae, Louane or Bruno Mars and groups like Cage the Elephant, Imagine Dragons or London Grammar whose records have become part of the history of modern music.

martes, 2 de febrero de 2016

MLK Thank you for giving us a fairer world.

Michael King Jr. or Martin Luther King Jr., as we know him, was born and raised on Atalanta’s Auburn Avenue on January 15, 1929. He was an American Baptist minister, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He was best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs.


King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he gave his famous "I have a dream" speech. There, he established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.

But unfortunately, on Thursday, April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr., who had retreated to room 306 of the Lorraine Motel, was killed by a white segregationist on his balcony, before his sermon in Memphis on Sunday. For all these reasons on the third Monday of January America and the whole world remember everything he did for America and for the civil rights, in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day., (which is the date where he was born).

In my view, he was with Mandela, two of the most influent people that have fought for the black people rights, and what’s more important, in a nonviolent way. Both of them searched the equality between white and black people, one in America and the other in South Africa and I reckon that without them we would be in an unfair world (even more that it’s in our days). 

Thank you M. Luther King for giving us a fairer world.

domingo, 24 de enero de 2016

China growth slows and oil price falls.


In the latest months, news all over the world have been talking about two main topics, China’s economic situation and the fall of oil prices. What’s happening with China economic growth? And why are oil prices falling so fast?

First of all, I want to talk about Chinese economic situation. After growing more and more during more than 20 years at least, China economic growth has experienced a painful slowdown in the last two years. According to experts, China’s economy has suffered this economic slowdown for two main reasons: China’s focus on creating an economy driven by consumption has made an overproduction that now they can solve, especially in steel. And the other main reason is that China's stock market has crashed over because of the distrust of the other countries of this overproduction and because of the ignorance of some Chinese investors that have become indebted investing with money that they didn’t have.

The oher important piece of news has been the oil price falls in all over the world. The latest fall of oil prices has been prompted by concerns that a market already awash with oil from the two biggest suppliers – Saudi Arabia and Russia – would receive additional supply from the lifting of sanctions against Iran and the ending of a 40-year US export ban. In addition to this, experts say that things won’t be better in 2016.

In conclusion, in this 2016 things won’t be better in the economic aspects. China will have to do all their best to have a lower production if it doesn’t want to continue having an overproduction. And in my opinion we have to search alternatives to the oil, pushing more towards renewable energies.

martes, 19 de enero de 2016

Is travelling abroad a good experience for every young person’s education before starting university or finding a job?

Nowadays, travelling abroad is considered a good experience for young people who are going to begin their university education or working. However, can everyone afford it? Is it so necessary to find a job if you want to work in your own country?

It’s a well-known fact that travelling abroad can be too expensive: accommodation, food, the travel... Nevertheless, it isn’t impossible because you can do many things to earn some money for it, if you can’t afford it. For instance, I have some friends that have worked in ice cream parlours or restaurants when they were staying in a foreign country. In spite of this, in my view it’s more advisable to earn some money first and then travel abroad.

Another important fact to take into account is that you should live there with people of another nationality, because if you go with people that speak your language, you won’t learn anything. This year, for example I’ve stayed for five weeks in France and I’ve been living with a Swiss, a German and a Taiwanese, so apart from having a different language, we also had different cultures, which for me was even better.


Personally, I think that it has been one of the best experiences of my life, this summer I hope to do the same in England. I reckon that now it’s the best moment to do these kinds of things, firstly because we are learning a different language and secondly because it will help us to find a better job, even if we aren’t going to work in a foreign country, because it will give you experience.

sábado, 9 de enero de 2016

Brolin Mawejje had a dream far from home.

Born in the Makindye District of Kampala, Uganda, Brolin Mawejje, had a hope and it was to become a snowboarder. His family wanted the best for their child, so when he was only two years old, his mother left the family indefinitely and she reappeared at age 11, arranging him to join her in the USA in Boston’s suburbia. As he was the only African in his school, he was bullied by his American classmates. But the course of his life would change for ever when he joined an after school ski & snowboard program. Brolin discovered a new world. Combined with a drive to excel in his studies, Brolin found a family that helped him to trust the world for the first time.

This article story shows us that everything can be possible. No matter where we live, no matter how much money we’ve got, because if we have got talent everything can be possible. The most interesting thing is that he’s now going to participate in the next Winter Olympic Games and he’s going to be the first African snowboarder that is going participate in some Winter Olympic Games.


Another important fact is that he came from a poor family, so his conditions were even more difficult to become successful and it is for that reason that he needed economic support for this incredible project. He’s also going to help in Uganda children that were in the same case as him, so I reckon that it’s going to be a good way to contribute in this world of inequality.


All in all, I personally think that there should be more cases like this man. Showing us that if we believe in something, even if people tell you that it is impossible, we can achieve them at last.